Dick DeVos: A Guy Who Cares About Society

Dick and Betsy DeVos have donated over $139 million over their lifetimes. They have donated to various causes, focusing mostly on education and the arts. In 2015, 26 percent of the charitable donations that they donated, or $3 million, was donated to educational causes.

 

They have heavily committed themselves to the cause of education because they believe that the education system fails children who live in certain zip codes, and that it is a civil rights issue. As a result of their beliefs, Dick and Betsy DeVos have funded vouchers and charter schools.

 

 

Some people oppose Dick and Betsy DeVos’s choice to fund charter schools and vouchers by claiming that such programs take money away from traditional public schools. Some people also accuse Dick and Betsy DeVos of using the guise of educational causes to make political contributions that are not that wholesome. However, a very valid argument can be made against those who oppose Dick and Betsy DeVos. For example, people who oppose charter schools and are involved in the traditional school system have a lot to say about the DeVos’. However, those who are involved in the traditional public school system have their own political interests. There are a lot of people who have a selfish, vested interest in keeping the traditional school system the way it is—despite the fact that many children fall by the waste-side. Charter schools provide a way for alternative teaching methods to be used and tested.

 

Dick DeVos has been involved in many pursuits that involve bettering and maintaining the quality of society. When there was a plan to build a sports arena in Grand Rapids in 1991, Dick DeVos lobbied against it. He led a group of business leaders called Grand Action that worked to keep the arena from being built. Dick DeVos lobbied against the construction of the arena because he was afraid that it would destroy the vibe of the area. In 2012, Dick DeVos “engineered” a law that made it so that people didn’t have to be in involved with unions in any way when working in Michigan. His efforts lead to Michigan becoming a right-to-work state. At Grand Rapids International Airport, there is an aviation charter school that Dick DeVos funded.

 

Andrea McWilliams and Her Philanthropy

Andrea McWilliams is an Austin-based lobbyist and political fundraiser. Her focus is on supporting charities and causes that are dedicated to researching cancer cures, especially cures for breast cancer. She started campaigning and lobbying with her husband with their joint company McWilliams, which is a full-service consulting company for government clients. Andrea McWilliams has been involved in the Austin political scene since she was 21 and a Chief of Staff and has honed her grassroots skills at public relations company Public Strategies, Inc. Because of her work from such a young age, Andrea McWilliams had recieved the “Austin Under 40” award in 2012 for Government and Public Affairs which is granted to celebrate emerging professionals and their mentors.

Andrea McWilliams has participated and contributed to a variety of fundraising campaigns, including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and KillCancer. She has also raised millions of dollars while serving as honorary chair for the Mamma Jamma Ride which helped fund nonprofits around Central Texas that helped serve thousands coping with breast cancer. McWilliams has served as board member for a variety of different non-profit organizations in Texas, including nonprofits dedicated to the arts such as Ballet Austin and Arthouse and nonprofits dedicated to those with medical needs like HeartGift.

Andrea McWilliams has also won a variety of awards for her work and service. She was named top lobbyist of Texas by the Austin Business Journal in 2009; The Austin Business Journal also granted her their “Profiles in Power Award”. Andrea McWilliams’s personal style has also been acknowledged by Austin Fashion Week when she was awarded their “Style Setter” award, which also acknowledges her charity work.